Children’s Dentistry

No need to go elsewhere! Life-Centered Dentistry cares for your entire family.

At Life-Centered Dentistry, we want your child’s first visit to be fun. We know you want that, too. Finding a good pediatric dentist can be challenging, especially when you want nothing but the best care for your child’s oral health. We provide top-notch pediatric dental care to the greater Grand Rapids, MI area and look forward to helping your kids enjoy healthy smiles for years to come.

Watch this video for more ways to make that first visit easier.

What is Pediatric Dentistry?

Pediatric dentistry is an age-defined specialty that provides preventive oral health care and treatment to infants and children through adolescence. We suggest you bring them in some time after their first tooth appears and before their first birthday. This stage of tooth growth can require certain levels of care, which is why seeing one of our skilled dentists is key.

What Can a Pediatric Dentist Help With?

Pediatric dentists deal with dental concerns specific to children. While adults focus on maintaining their existing teeth with restorative treatments or improving their appearance with cosmetic dentistry, young patients have the unique challenge of growing teeth, losing teeth, and ensuring their adult teeth are set up to last for a lifetime. Some concerns and treatments associated with children’s dentistry include:

Baby Bottle Decay

Baby bottle decay is one issue that specifically affects the oral health of babies and infants. It’s caused by liquids containing sugars, including milk, formula, and fruit juices. If your baby sleeps with a bottle, these sugary liquids pool around the teeth. This can cause cavities to develop in the upper and lower front teeth. Fortunately, there are easy precautions you can take to prevent this from happening. 

Don’t put your child to sleep with a bottle of juice or milk. Also, avoid filling bottles with sugar water, juice, or soft drinks. If you’re breastfeeding, make sure to wipe your baby’s teeth and gums with a clean, damp washcloth once they are finished, and don’t allow them to nurse continuously. 

Fluoride

While you’re probably familiar with fluoride and how it benefits your teeth, it can significantly benefit your child’s teeth as well. As the teeth begin to form and start breaking through the gums, it can strengthen the enamel on their teeth, making them more resilient to decay and cavities.

In most cities, including Grand Rapids, fluoride is added to the water to help with tooth health and development. If fluoride isn’t in the water you use, we can provide fluoride drops or supplements that you can give to your child daily. We can also perform special fluoride treatment during a visit.

Emergency Care

Kids require prompt dental care when they experience a dental injury. In order to maintain the health of your child’s teeth, gums, and entire mouth, it’s important to see a pediatric dentist as soon as possible after a fracture, injury, or onset of severe dental pain. Our pediatric dentists can provide compassionate care in a scary and painful situation such as a pediatric dental emergency.

Schedule A Consultation Today

Are you looking to guarantee your child receives the best possible oral health care? Scheduling a consultation at Life-Centered Dentistry is a great first step. Our team will examine your child’s teeth and then build a treatment plan for any issues they find. Start your child on the right foot and schedule a consultation today. Call our Grand Rapids, MI office or use our online scheduling form.

Frequently Asked Questions 

At what age do you stop going to pediatric dentist?

Typically, individuals transition from a pediatric dentist to a general dentist during their late teens or early twenties, usually by the age of 16. However, the exact age can vary depending on the individual's development and personal dental care needs.

Do Pediatric dentists do surgery?

Yes, pediatric dentists are qualified to perform certain types of surgical procedures that are relevant to the dental care of children. Common surgical procedures performed by pediatric dentists include tooth extractions, pulpotomies (often referred to as "baby root canals"), frenectomies, and treatment of dental injuries.

Do Pediatric dentists see adults?

While pediatric dentists are dedicated to the oral health of children, some may also see patients with special needs beyond their teen years. However, pediatric dentists do not typically see adult patients who do not have special needs, as their practice is geared specifically toward the unique dental issues and developmental needs of children and adolescents.

How often do you take toddler to dentist?

Establishing good oral hygiene habits early in life is essential for long-term dental health, which includes regular visits to a dentist. For toddlers, it is generally recommended to schedule dental check-ups every six months. At Life-Centered Dentistry, children around three years old are seen for their first visit. We are happy to see them earlier for specific concerns, but three years old is a great age to start care.

Is dental surgery safe for toddlers?

When performed by a qualified pediatric dentist, dental surgery for toddlers is considered safe. Pediatric dentists are specifically trained to address the unique needs of infants, toddlers, and children and ensure their procedures are performed with the utmost care.

What happens at your childs first dentist appointment?

The focus of the first appointment is to introduce your child to the dental environment in a friendly and non-threatening way, helping to build comfort with future visits. The dentist will examine your child's teeth, gums, jaw, and bite to assess their oral health and development. They will also educate you on proper pediatric oral hygiene practices, such as brushing techniques, the importance of fluoride, and nutritional advice related to dental health.

What is the difference between a general dentist and a pediatric dentist?

The difference between a general dentist and a pediatric dentist lies primarily in their training and specialization. A general dentist is equipped to provide a wide variety of dental services to patients of all ages, from routine cleanings and check-ups to more complex procedures such as fillings, root canals, and crowns. On the other hand, a pediatric dentist has an additional two to three years of specialized training that focuses on the unique needs of children's dentistry. This includes knowledge of child-specific diseases, child psychology, and management techniques that help in treating children who may be anxious or have special needs.